Students will explore Andy Goldsworthy’s ephemeral land art, then venture outside to come up with their own environmental sculptures.
Activity statement –
Andy Goldsworthy is known as an environmental or land artist. What this means is that he uses natural artifacts—branches, leaves, rocks, ice, etc.—to create his sculptures and installations. Goldsworthy’s art is also temporary. He never creates anything that won’t eventually be destroyed by waves, wind and natural processes. Goldsworthy invites the viewer to contemplate the ephemeral, transitory beauty of the natural world. His works involve the use of pattern, color and balance. Interestingly, all of the color in his work comes from the objects themselves, never from him painting any of it. So for example, if you look at the image that looks like a tree trunk ringed with glowing light or fire, he simply used fallen gold and orange leaves to give it that effect.
Students learned about Mexican artist Pedro Linares López and his fantastical, wild Alebrijes, imaginative and colorful papier-mâché creatures that Linares originated. Students created their own Alebrijes out of clay, paint and various objects.
Description of the Unit – Students will create yarn paintings in the style of the Huichol of México.
Activity statement – The Huichol are a culture native to western México (mostly in Jalisco and Nayarit) who have preserved many of their ancient arts and crafts practices. So esteemed are they to Mexico’s heritage that the Mexican government and UNESCO have made great effort to preserve the culture and its environment. While the Huichol first used materials found in nature to produce their art, they now Huichol use modern materials and dyes in their crafts. Among the many incredible crafts the Huichol produce is the yarn painting, an intricate, highly colorful tableau of symbols and images “painted” with bright yarn arranged in bold patterns.